How to Play Poker for Beginners: Basics and Poker Rules


Part of what’s great about learning new stuff is you get to challenge yourself on how good you are in adapting to things that can perhaps be unusual and completely beyond your comfort zone. Learning how to play a new game for instance should not be difficult if you set your mind and focus on what’s important.

Similarly, learning poker should not get you intimidated. It is rather a fun learning experience as you also get to understand why millions of people around the world love this game so much.

The appeal of poker

Enjoyed by a large number of people across the globe, Poker is easily the most recognizable card game to exist even to this day. Even with its various alterations are loved by millions of players, both newcomers, and veterans alike. For many years, it had kept gamblers wanting more and when the internet came around, its popularity has even become more massive than it already was.

While poker is primarily a game of gamblers where people use real money to play, it is nothing different from any other entertaining games out there: they are a form of entertainment. Suffice to say, it is incredibly fun especially that it is a game where you can play socially with either friends or people you do not know personally.

Playing an online poker builds social interactions to far greater heights as you get to go against people of different skill levels. If you are not that type of player who does not play competitively, poker online is still an enjoyable game to experience. At the end of the day, gambling is all about having a good time.

If you are on the other side of the spectrum, where playing poker games is a career you wanted to focus on, so be it. You’d be surprised that many players are making a living just by playing poker. They take this game very seriously and their goal is to make huge profits with all the skills and experiences they have acquired from playing constantly.

The basics of poker

Playing poker and knowing the basics, unbeknownst to many, is fairly easy. However, this is also that kind of game where things are quite difficult to master. But just like what the title of this article suggests, we’re focusing on teaching beginners how to play poker as simple as possible. Additionally, we’ll be covering a few helpful tips on improving your play, as well as some important details on what to avoid when playing.

So where to start? Of course, you’d want to find a web casino where you can play online poker. If you are wondering if there are such online casinos that offer free play, then congratulate yourself as that is a very logical question to ask that could help new players a lot. While there are tons of casino websites that provide real-money poker online games, sticking to those free play poker games should be a great learning ground for you.

Now here is how a poker game works:

First, the dealer distributes two cards around to everyone starting with his left. In the same order or rotation, the first player who received the first dealt card is the first to “place a bet” where they can bet any amount of money they want or “check” where they do nothing. The same goes for everyone else’s turn.

If anyone decides to “place a bet”, the others have the option to “call” where they will match the amount of the raise into the pot, “fold” where they give up the hand and every chip they’ve placed in the pot, or “raise” where they can put more chips into the pot. The cycle continues until everyone has all their chips in the center or has everyone called.

The dealers would then deal with three face-up cards once the first betting round is complete. The three cards are called “the flop” and they can be used by anyone. Every player that is still in the hand gets a chance to bet and then do a raise or fold. After the betting round, the dealer deals the fourth card called “the turn” that can also be used by anyone.

All the players can bet, check, raise, or fold again. The fifth card that the dealer will put out is called “the river”, and just like all the cards that came before, it can be used by everyone. Once the river is drawn, it is the last chance for players to place their bet, check, raise, or fold.

If there are multiple people still left in the hand after the river, the cards should now be shown and the player with the highest rank wins the pot.


Hand rankings

This is the part where you have to memorize the hand rankings. You can’t expect to have a strategic plan without knowing this by heart.

  1. Royal Flush – all the suits are the same with the sequence of A-K-Q-J-T
  2. Straight Flush – all the same suits in any sequence
  3. Four of a Kind – four cards have the same number or value
  4. Full House – three cards have the same value plus a pair
  5. Flush – all the suits are the same
  6. Straight – any basic sequence such as 9-8-7-6-5
  7. Three of a Kind – three cards have the same value
  8. Two Pair – two pair of cards such as 7-7 plus 3-3
  9. Pair – Any pair
  10. High Card – whichever card has the highest value

This ranking can be quite a challenge to remember, but given that you are exerting effort to memorize all of this, it will help you get the job done. This is why playing on online casinos that offer poker online for free is always a great idea. This helps eliminate times when you would think that your hand is a winning poker hand but isn’t.

Beginner tips and what to avoid

There are plenty of tips on the web about how to play poker better and those mostly are aimed towards experienced online poker players involving a lot of advanced jargon, and complex methodologies. Relative to this article, we wanted to give you the basics and some helpful tips that are beginner-friendly as well.

If we have to pick the best poker tip that a rookie should know about, it is to avoid playing very many hands. You should prioritize playing lesser hands at a standard nine-handed table. The idea is to play nothing but good hands, especially in your first few games.

Lastly, avoid calling a lot as betting is far better. New players tend to call simply because they try not to take risks and they are simply afraid that their hand isn’t strong enough. Where in reality, they can win a pot even without showing their cards. Doing otherwise would get your opponents to take them for a ride, completely under their control.